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Dear Parent/Caregiver and Staff:
As you may be aware, influenza activity is widespread in the country and is affecting our community. Galveston County Health District (GCHD) has been notified that children have become sick with influenza (the “flu”) and/or influenza-like illnesses.
Influenza is starting to show up in students in our school system. We want to keep all of our students as healthy as possible. With this in mind, please read over the information.
As you know, the flu can be spread easily from person to person. Therefore, we are taking steps to minimize the spread of flu in our schools. But we need your help to do this.
Here are a few things you can do to help.
- Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub. You can set a good example by doing this yourself.
- Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food, or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs or sneezes with tissues. Teach them to cover a cough or sneeze with an elbow, arm, or sleeve instead of the hand when a tissue is unavailable. Covering a cough with their hand will spread germs to whatever is touched.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and feeling tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
- Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever reducing drugs. Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected.
- Do not send children to school if they are sick. Any children who are determined to be sick while at school will be sent home.
(Note: Parents should visit their health care provider if their child has fever for 48 hours or less. Symptomatic individuals may benefit from Tamiflu, if the symptoms are present for less than 24 hours.)
If you have questions, please contact GCHD Epidemiologist Karla Ruiz at (409) 938-2215 firstname.lastname@example.org, Epidemiologist Sharon Stonum at (409) 938-2208 email@example.com, or the school nurse. For more information, visit www.texasflu.org.
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